The map categorizes the legal status of abortion on a continuum from severe restrictiveness to relative liberality. It is updated in real time, reflecting changes in national laws so human rights advocates can monitor how countries are protecting—or denying—reproductive rights around the world.
The World Abortion Laws Map includes supplementary tools and resources to assist advocates and policymakers in advancing abortion reform. These include:. A list of countries categorized by their abortion law can be accessed by downloading a PDF of the map. The categorizations on the map reflect a strict reading of the black letter law in effect in each country.
Abortion laws are categorized according to provisions in national statues, legal regulations, and court decisions. Ministerial guidelines are not utilized in categorizing the legal status of abortion on the map unless they have the force of law. Some of this reform has been incremental, enabling women to access legal abortion only when there is a threat to her life or when pregnancy results from rape.
The change in color reflects the legality of abortion, before and after law reform was enacted.
Where the change in law added enumerated grounds for abortion, these are reflected through lettered icons. The right to safe and legal abortion is a fundamental human right protected under numerous international and regional human rights treaties and national-level constitutions around the world. These instruments ground safe abortion in a constellation of rights, including the rights to life; liberty; privacy; equality and non-discrimination and freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Human rights bodies have repeatedly condemned restrictive abortion laws as being incompatible with human rights norms. While a majority of women live in countries where they can exercise their right to abortion, 41 percent of women live under restrictive laws.
The inability of to access safe and legal abortion care impacts million women of reproductive age.
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According to the World Health Organization, 23, women die of unsafe abortion each year and tens of thousands more experience significant health complications. Legal restrictions on abortion do not result in fewer abortions, instead they compel women to risk their lives and health by seeking out unsafe abortion care. It was the largest majority since direct presidential elections were first introduced, and was preceded by a major popular campaign against Le Pen. Chirac named centrist Jean-Pierre Raffarin to be prime minister.
In elections for the National Assembly held in June , the center-right coalition Union for the Presidential Majority consisting of Chirac's Rally for the Republic and the Liberal Democracy party and created on the wake of the first round on the ashes of the short-lived Union en Mouvement won a landslide victory, taking The Socialist Party finished second with Le Pen's National Front failed to win a single seat.
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Jean-Pierre Raffarin started out by governing through ordinances, and eventually obtained a majority from his party that was large enough to carry him through the legislative elections. His political line exhibited a peculiar communicative style and enforced reforms with unflagging certainty — his adversaries would term this style "neo-liberalism. Raffarin's popularity rate began to plummet; this, combined with the sharp electoral defeat sustained at the regional elections, was blamed on his social policies.
As a consequence, the prime minister dissolved the government, and handpicked Jean-Louis Borloo as minister of social affairs. However, the prime minister had to handle both the former's social agenda — sustaining rent-controlled housing, backed up by President Chirac — and Sarkozy's extremely conservative managing of the finances.
Jean-Pierre Raffarin then faced even more criticism especially from Dominique de Villepin. Raffarin's term of office came to a brisk end after the "no" vote to the referendum held on 29 May , on whether to adopt the project of the European Constitutional Treaty. He offered to resign on 31 May , and was immediately replaced by Dominique de Villepin. Dominique de Villepin had been named minister of foreign affairs in , upon the reelection of President Chirac. In — 03, France was confronted with a major foreign policy dilemma.
Throughout , the United States and United Kingdom were committing troops to the Persian Gulf region, positioning themselves against Iraq and accusing its leader, Saddam Hussein , of possessing weapons of mass destruction. In the event that Iraq would not disarm itself of any weapons of mass destruction it might possess, it was evident that the United States and United Kingdom might use those troops to force a regime change in Iraq.
The UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution on 8 November , calling upon Iraq to disarm itself of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons or weapons capabilities, to allow the immediate return of UN and International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA weapons inspectors, and to comply with all previous UN resolutions regarding the country since the end of the Gulf War in The United States and United Kingdom indicated that if Iraq would not comply with the resolution, "serious consequences" might result, meaning military action.
The other three permanent members of the Security Council , France, Russia, and China , expressed their reservations with that position. France was the most vocal opponent of war, and threatened to use its veto power in the Security Council if another Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force was called for. The United States and United Kingdom abandoned diplomatic efforts at conflict resolution in March , and on 19 March, the coalition went to war in Iraq. Once coalition forces defeated Iraq and plans for reconstruction of the country were being discussed in April, France stressed the need for a strong role to be played by the UN in a postwar Iraq.
In his inaugural speech, he gave himself days to earn the trust of the French people and to give France its confidence back. He was increasingly perceived as a potential presidential candidate, an opinion reinforced by his acting as head of state during the cabinet meeting held on 7 September and for the 60th session of the UN General Assembly held on 14 — 15 September while President Chirac suffered from a cerebral vascular complication. The eruption of rioting in many parts of France in fall posed the most serious challenge to government authority since the student riots that took place in Paris in The government imposed a state of emergency.
Thousands of vehicles were set on fire in nearly towns; more than 1, people had been arrested by mid-November , when the violence began to subside. Areas with large African and Arab communities were most affected France has Europe's largest Muslim population and over half the country's prison population is Muslim , where anger among many immigrant families over unemployment and discrimination has long been simmering.
The unrest caused politicians to rethink their social and economic policies. Under the constitution of the Fifth Republic , as subsequently amended, the president of the republic is elected for a five-year term changed from a seven-year term following a referendum on 24 September by direct universal suffrage. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes cast, a runoff election is held between the two candidates having received the most votes. If the presidency falls vacant, the president of the Senate assumes the office until a new election can be held within 20 — 35 days.
The president appoints the prime minister and, on the prime minister's recommendation, the other members of the cabinet. The president has the power to dissolve the National Assembly, in which event new elections must be held in 20 — 40 days. When the national sovereignty is gravely menaced, the president is empowered to take special measures after consultation with the premier and other appropriate officials. The National Assembly, however, may not be dissolved during the exercise of exceptional powers. The president promulgates laws approved by the legislature, has the right of pardon, and is commander of the armed forces.
The bicameral parliament consists of two houses, the National Assembly and the Senate. Under a system enacted in , the National Assembly is composed of deputies, each representing an electoral district. If no candidate receives a clear majority, there is a runoff among those receiving at least All citizens aged 18 or over are eligible to vote.
The deputies' term of office, unless the Assembly is dissolved, is five years. The Senate consisted, as of , of members indirectly elected to nine-year terms, one-third being chosen every three years. Of the total, represented metropolitan France, 13, overseas departments and territories, and 12, French citizens residing abroad; all are chosen by electoral colleges. In addition, European elections are held to choose 87 French deputies out of in the European Parliament every five years, with proportional representation. To become law, a measure must be passed by parliament.
Parliament also has the right to develop in detail and amplify the list of matters on which it may legislate by passing an organic law to that effect. Regular parliamentary sessions occur once a year, lasting nine months each amended in from two shorter sessions a year. A special session may be called by the prime minister or at the request of a majority of the National Assembly. Bills, which may be initiated by the executive, are introduced in either house, except finance bills, which must be introduced in the Assembly. These proceedings are open to the public, aired on television, and reported.
The prime minister and the cabinet formulate national policy and execute the laws. No one may serve concurrently as a member of parliament and a member of the executive. Under certain circumstances, an absolute majority in the National Assembly may force the executive to resign by voting a motion of censure. Under the new law of , members of the government are liable for actions performed in office deemed to be crimes or misdemeanors, and tried by the Court of Justice. French political life has long been ruled both by considerations of political theory and by the demands of political expediency.
Traditional issues such as the separation of church and state help to distinguish between right and left, but otherwise the lines separating all but the extremist political parties are diffi cult to draw.
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One result of this has been the proliferation of political parties; another, the assumption by political parties of labels that seldom indicate any clear-cut platform or policy. Broadly, since the late s, French politics has been dominated by four political groups: the Gaullists, an independent center-right coalition, the Socialists, and the Communists.
After the parliamentary elections of 23 and 30 November , the first to be held under the constitution of the Fifth Republic, the largest single group in the Assembly was the Union for the New Republic UNR , which stood for the policies of Gen. Only 16 members were elected by the center groups and only 10 were Communists. In the first presidential elections held by direct universal suffrage in December , President de Gaulle was reelected on the second ballot with Following nationwide strikes and civil disturbances by workers and students in the spring of , new parliamentary elections were held in June, in which de Gaulle's supporters won a sweeping victory.
On 28 April , following the defeat in a national referendum of a Gaullist plan to reorganize the Senate and regional government, President de Gaulle resigned. During the Pompidou administration, Gaullist control was weakened by an alliance between the Communist and Socialist parties. The Communists and Socialists increased their representation to 72 and , respectively. The remaining seats were won by the RI 55 and by centrists, reformists, and unaffiliated candidates On 2 April , President Pompidou died.
However, as neither had won a majority, a run-off election was held on 19 May.
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Giscard, with the help of Gaullist votes, defeated Mitterrand by a margin of The Socialists and Communists, who ran on a common platform as the Union of the Left, together won seats Socialists , Communists 86 and Independents, with the remaining 3. In the presidential elections of 26 April and 10 May , Mitterrand received Within weeks, Mitterrand called new legislative elections: that June, the Socialists and their allies won In return for concessions on various political matters, four Communists received cabinet portfolios, none relating directly to foreign affairs or national security.
The sweeping victory of the left was, however, eroded in March when Socialist and Communist officeholders lost their seats in about 30 cities in municipal balloting. Meanwhile, the Communists had become disaffected by government policies and did not seek appointments in the cabinet named when a new Socialist prime minister, Laurent Fabius, was appointed in July The National Assembly elections held in March represented a major defeat for the Socialist Party and their allies.
The Communists also suffered losses, securing only 24 seats. Minor parties and independents won 26 seats. The Socialists lost of the Socialist seats that were at stake. As a result, the Socialists introduced a new system of proportional voting aimed at reducing their losses in the forthcoming general election of 16 March The Communists, suffering a historic defeat, split the remaining 70 seats evenly with the far-right National Front, which won representation for the first time.
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Following his defeat by Mitterand in the May presidential election, Chirac resigned and a minority Socialist government was formed. In , one year before they were scheduled, Chirac called for new parliamentary elections, hoping to achieve a mandate to inaugurate his policy of fiscal austerity. Instead, the Gaullists suffered a stunning defeat by the Socialists and Communists, leading to the appointment of Jospin as prime minister. In those elections, held 25 May and 1 June , the Gaullists saw their parliamentary presence decline from seats to ; the Socialists and related splinter groups went from 75 seats to ; the Communists from 24 to 38; the Greens from no seats to 8; and the far-right National Front maintained its single seat.
The Greens held only three seats. Its first test occurred in March , during the cantonal and regional elections.